Dining With Denise Neil

A double celebrity sighting at Friday’s Cracker Barrel ribbon-cutting in Wichita

Couple have visited nearly every Cracker Barrel, including new one in Wichita

Ray and Wilma Yoder Goshen, Indiana have visited over 640 Cracker Barrel restaurants across the United States.
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Ray and Wilma Yoder Goshen, Indiana have visited over 640 Cracker Barrel restaurants across the United States.

The crowd gathered for Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at Wichita’s new Cracker Barrel included a couple of bona fide celebrities.

No, it wasn’t Brad and his wife.

It was Ray and Wilma Yoder, the Indiana couple that has gained cult celebrity status by making it their mission to dine at every Cracker Barrel in the country.

The problem is, Cracker Barrel just keeps opening stores. So the couple just keeps traveling. To date, Ray’s been to 654 Cracker Barrels. Wichita’s, the newest, is number 658 in the chain.

On Friday, the Yoders were in Wichita, having driven from their home in Goshen, Indiana. “Near Notre Dame,” says Ray, 82.

They were recognized by Cracker Barrel management at the ribbon cutting, and the gathered crowd applauded and took pictures of the couple.

Ray visited his first Cracker Barrel in Nashville in 1978. Since then, he’s traveled millions of miles and visited 45 states. He started his quest when he used to deliver RVs from the manufacturers in Indiana to dealerships across the country. Wilma, his wife of 62 years, would often join him.

The two have appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show” to talk about their hobby, and they were also featured on ABC News and in People Magazine. Last year, Cracker Barrel even flew Ray to a birthday party they were throwing for him in Oregon.

While in Kansas, the Yoders went out of their way to visit Yoder, a town about 41 miles northwest of Wichita. They dined at Carriage Crossing restaurant and liked their waitress so much, they invited her to join them on Friday morning for the Cracker Barrel ribbon cutting.

The Yoders now have four more Cracker Barrel stores to visit to get their record to perfect, and all are in Oregon. They have a trip planned for February, depending on the weather.

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